It may all be quite surreal or something that you have been waiting for, for quite some time. However the question was popped it finally happened and the moments, days and weeks following your proposal are probably going to be a bit of a whirlwind!
There’s lots to do, so many people to contact and much to get organised but don’t get overwhelmed. If you’re like many newly engaged couples, you’ll be wondering what the next stages are after your engagement and in what order you should do them.
Creating numerous Pinterest boards, wedding magazines, dress shopping and venue searching…. planning a wedding is a timely process and one that’s usually hugely underestimated but you don’t need to start planning every decision the second you say “yes” to your significant other.
Every couple’s timeline is different, you don’t need to race up the aisle or rush any part of the planning process. When it comes to the timings of everything it can be confusing though – Who do you tell? How soon should you have an engagement party? What planning tasks do you need to tackle first? These are really common questions that many engaged couples wonder so below are some pointers to get you started.
One of the first steps after you’ve got engaged is to share your happy news. Take a much, or as little time as you like. Some couples want to tell everyone as soon as possible, while others may like to keep it a secret to be enjoyed only by a few close friends or family for a little longer. When you are ready to tell the world do make sure you’ve told immediate family and friends before posting to social media. Once your immediate family and closest friends are in on the news – you can go public and get your relationship status changed on Facebook. If you are planning on posting a ring selfie be sure to get a manicure or at least make sure your nails are cleaned and shaped – you don’t want anything to distract from the ring!
Round up some of your best friends and family and go out for a celebratory drink or meal, or have a special date night with your partner if that’s more your style. You’re engaged, and it’s most definitely worth celebrating.
Once you have shared the news of your engagement you can now take as long as you’d like to just enjoy the experience with your partner. Relax, don’t jump straight into the planning and just enjoy this new relationship status for a little while. You may decide to have a party or arrange an engagement photo shoot to mark the occasion.
Of course, if you are planning on having a shorter engagement or you just want to get straight into the planning then you won’t want to delay the planning for too long – do whatever feels right for the two of you.
It’s also worth mentioning that you may want to get your ring insured early on. It’s a pretty sentimental piece of jewellery after all. If you add it to your home insurance policy it’s usually pretty inexpensive.
When you are ready to get down to the wedding planning – obviously I'd suggest getting a wedding planner to help you keep everything together. There will be a lot to coordinate over the next few months. Also get into the habit of keeping important information in a specific place – there's nothing more frustrating than trying to hunt out a contract or RSVP’s when you really need them.
Start to have those discussions about what kind of wedding you both want to have. A formal gathering? A relaxed outdoor wedding? Do you want a church?
If you have no idea where to start think about what suits your individual personalities, what do you enjoy as a couple, do you enjoy a good party or are you happier at smaller, more intimate gatherings? Use Pinterest to look at other weddings styles, you may find it helps you rule out what you don't want which in turns helps to identify what you do. Once you have an idea of your overall wedding vibe other things will fall into place.
The Internet is a super helpful tool when it comes to all things weddings. Pinterest and Instagram are great places to start. Create your own mood board and pin things that appeal to you, it’ll be handy when showing your suppliers exact colours, the atmosphere and mood you want to recreate for your day and ensure an overall cohesive look between every element.
Next, it’s time to think about what’s important to you as a couple. You may have always wanted a hog roast at your wedding or to arrive by horse and carriage, if you have something that you have always had your heart on then you should have it – and if you have a budget, make savings elsewhere.
Popular wedding dates and venues get booked far in advance so if you are hoping to get married in the next year or two, it’s sensible to start thinking about dates early on. Find out what works for both of your families and whether there’s any dates to steer clear of.
Once you have chosen a wedding date, start a list of tasks that need planning. You can’t book a wedding without a venue so you’ll want to research venues and call or visit for information about available dates and pricing. You’ll want to have discussions about your wedding size and budget early on into your wedding planning. You can’t move forward with any area of your wedding plans until you’ve determined an overall budget and know who may also be contributing to parts of your wedding. Once you’ve had discussions about your budget and guest size you’ll be able to make decisions and book your wedding date and venue.
I would recommend setting aside some specific days or allotted time with your significant other to go through plans regularly between now and the wedding day. Planning is best done in stages so as not to get too overwhelming. But don’t let wedding planning take over date night, as it’s still important to set time away from planning as a couple. By allotting time specifically to tackle your wedding to-dos you’ll accomplish so much more than just getting round to bits ‘here and there’ at the end of a long day.
Make a list of what each of you is going to do and split the tasks so that you can both be involved. This will keep both of you involved, every step of the way. Keep communicating too so that you don’t end up contacting the caterer twice or booking two florists! Your partner may not want to be so involved in choosing the decorations for the tables and so that can go on your list and you may decide that you are happy for them to choose the evening entertainment and so that’ll go on theirs. Have some tasks that you’ll do together too and you’ll soon get into the swing of wedding planning.
When the planning gets tough, take a break from it all. It will wait. Spend the time to reconnect as a couple and get excited about the day ahead.
And there you have my top tips of what to do now you are engaged! Welcome to wedding planning, there's lots to think about and if you feel like you need some help in finding suppliers or coordinating them all on your day, get in touch. Remember I’m here to answer any questions you may have.